Having covered the rest yesterday, today I will take a look at the four appeals set for hearing in the Supreme Court.
Yesterday, the Court heard a case called TD v. MJELR. I believe, though I can’t be sure, that it was an appeal from this decision of Judge Hogan. From my casual review of some of the immigration cases decided in writing by Judge Hogan, I would surmise that the government lost an unusually high proportion of them, and TD (assuming I’m right) is one of those government defeats. The case raises an issue of general application: what’s the time limit for applicants for refugee status who want to argue that Ireland’s asylum system is inconsistent with minimum EU law standards? Section 5 of the Illegal Immigrants (Trafficking) Act 2000 sets up a very tight 14-day time limit for court challenges to denials of refugee status. But, drawing on European law, Judge Hogan ruled that this time limit cannot be applied to those who seek to argue that Ireland has failed properly to transpose European law. (That’s the simple version of an intricate, but highly readable, High Court decision). Five judges heard the TD case yesterday.
Today, three judges will hear Doran & Gilbert v. Judge Reilly. In February 2007, Doran and Gilbert were originally sent forward for trial in Wicklow Circuit Criminal Court on charges of burglary, arson, and hijacking a car. They objected to technical defects in the documents returning them for trial. The parties have been up to the Supreme Court once before, in 2009. The defendants, however, continue to challenge the District Court’s attempts to remedy the technical defects. The High Court rejected their latest set of arguments in a decision by Judge McMahon available here. One way or another, the Supreme Court will hopefully lay all this procedural wrangling to rest this time around.
On Thursday, three judges will hear MU v DPP. It’s a familiar kind of case for the Supreme Court: a long-delayed sex abuse trial. A criminal defendant is accused of sexually assaulting his sisters in the 1960s and 1970s, and now says it is too late to try him on these charges. In the High Court, Judge MacMenamin agreed, finding that MU would suffer specific prejudice from the lapse of time due to lost evidence. The High Court decision is available here.
Finally, on Friday, three judges will hear S (a minor suing by his father and next friend OS) v MJELR. It involves an Irish citizen child whose father was deported to Nigeria while the child was in his mother’s womb. The father now wants to come back to Ireland and seeks revocation of the deportation order. The Minister for Justice said “no”. The case may be affected by the CJEU’s Zambrano decision, but in the High Court the parties rested their arguments more heavily on the Irish Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights. Judge Maureen Clark’s High Court decision is here. She ruled that the Minister’s refusal to revoke the deportation order was based on a failure to understand the legal position, and declared the refusal unlawful.